- Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The Cavs have rocked the NBA world by hiring a head coach with the initials J.B. who is not Chicago head coach Jim Boylen, former Cavs assistant Jim Boylan or Syracuse legend Jim Boeheim. He's not even Memphis castoff J.B. Bickerstaff or current Charlotte head coach James Borrego!
It's University of Michigan "culture driver" John Beilein. The 66-year-old signed a five-year deal with the Cavs. He was evidently distraught by the turnover on his Wolverine squad and was eager to make the leap to the pros after more than a decade in NCAA's Division 1.
The hiring came out of the blue — it has now been reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and a bunch of others — as the Cavs had been concurrently interviewing a crop of Western Conference assistants, some of whom may be invited to join Beilein's staff.
Beilein had been in talks with the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic in previous years, but was reportedly intrigued by the Cavs young roster and the potential for a new star at the top of this year's draft. (The NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday evening, and Beilein will be in Chicago with the Cavs reps for the event. The Cavs have a 14 percent chance at landing the top pick.)
Beilein led Michigan to two Final Four appearances in the NCAA tournament and four Big Ten championships in his 12 years coaching the Maize and Blue. His five-year deal with the Cavs is a head scratcher, as owner Dan Gilbert is likely to fire him after a season-and-a-half.
Gilbert lives in Detroit and has been deeply obsessed with Michigan State's Tom Izzo for years. Beilein is perhaps the next best thing, as far as Gilbert is concerned. Two-time Coach Mike Brown was not interviewed as part of the coaching search. Nor was Larry Drew, who took over for Ty Lue after six games last year. He was asked if he'd like to be considered for the permanent job but declined after a trying season.
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